Miles McEnery Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Michael Reafsnyder. The exhibition will open 9 January at 525 West 22nd Street and will remain on view through 15 February 2020. A public opening reception for the artist will be held on 9 January from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by art historian Michael Schreyach accompanies the exhibition.
Michael Reafsnyder’s abstract paintings are widely appreciated for their immediate sensuous appeal: vibrant, generously worked surfaces visualize luscious worlds of color and movement seemingly unencumbered by physical constraints.
On occasion, a disembodied Smiling Face or loopy personage—perhaps Reafsnyder’s signature motifs—marks out territory in these sumptuous environments. Their presence adds narrative to what might otherwise be classed as pure abstraction. Yet these figures invite deeper contemplation, as Michael Schreyach suggests: “On a basic level, they control our pattern of visual scanning by soliciting us to follow their lines of sight or directional movement across the plane, laterally deflecting our views of deep space. More complex is what we might call their modes of existence. We are asked not only to notice the ways the personages are incorporated into or excluded from the field, but also to contemplate the character of the relationship between each personage and the environment in which it dwells.”
Reafsnyder’s slippery technique—using planks of Plexiglas to swipe and slide plentiful applications of unmixed acrylic over large zones of canvas—yields a visual abundance that confounds conventional descriptions of pictorial effect. Yet sustained looking will reveal the rigor of Reafsnyder’s formal investigations. There is a seriousness to his work that exists in concert with his spirited and mischievous play. As in the art of Hans Hofmann, the manifest pleasure we may take in simply enjoying the quality of Reafsnyder’s surfaces is accompanied by our thoughtful engagement with his art, which rewards our attentive regard.
Michael Reafsnyder (b. in 1969 in Orange, CA) received his Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art at Chapman University in Orange, CA in 1992 and his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1996.
He has had numerous exhibitions internationally. Select solo exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery; Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; “In Bloom,” R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA; “Sunday Best,” Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA; “ We Ate The House,” Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; “Gleam,” R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA; “Feast,” Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; “Delight,” Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas, Texas; “Sweetness,” Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH; “Put it There: New Paintings and Ceramics,” Western Project, Culver City, CA; “Undone, R.B. Stevenson Gallery,” La Jolla, CA; Western Project, Culver City, CA
Select group exhibitions include “Michael Reafsnyder & Patrick Wilson,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Belief in Giants,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Non-Objective,” Telluride Fine Art, Telluride, CO, curated by James Hayward; “Painters Room,” R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA; “ Works of Paper II,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA; “Recent Acquisitions,” Barrick Museum, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV; “Paths and Edges: Celebrating the Five- Year Anniversary of the Escalette Collection,” Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA; “Floor Flowers,” Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA; and “Keramik,” Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA.
His work may be found in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, among others.
Critical appraisals of his work have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Artnews, Artforum, Art Issues, Flash Art, and El Mundo.
Michael Reafsnyder lives and works in Southern California.